Archive for March 15, 2010

Drabs, Drips, and Drops

   Walking the neighborhood becomes a rather dreary drill when rising temperatures and March drizzle leave behind a crust of dirty snow and a few weary Christmas decorations.  I predicted a stretch of gray skies as a postlude to our glorious week of sunshine, but by day six it does start to get old.  One can only sigh, and hope for each droplet of moisture to be the last drop, for Pete’s sake – and for the sake of the soil-saturated Crow River Valley, whose residents are sandbagging their little hearts out against the threat of flooding. 

Grainy (gray + rainy) weather aside, the phrase above brings to mind the tradition of common sense resource conservation explored by local radio show host Joe Soucheray. “Last-droppers,” he calls practitioners, and I am proud to be a member of that club.  Whether food or cleaning supplies, hand lotion or lipstick, foraging out every last bit of something you use on a regular basis saves bundles over a lifetime.  I know some people cringe at the notion of cutting open the tube of toothpaste to dredge out one last brushful, but I am blessed with a tolerant husband and the quiet confidence that we uber-conservers might just be mentoring others in our methods on that fateful day when the overextended economy smacks up against reality. 

But let’s move into a more upbeat aspect of the subject – scrumptious uses for leftovers. The list is a long one:  corn meal mush to slice and fry for breakfast; baked potatoes for hash; squash for soup; chili as a topping for cheese omelets; cooked meats, beans, and vegetables for soups; and that perennial favorite from holiday dinners, turkey. 

Today, let’s talk turkey.  I have three favorite combinations for using up leftover turkey breast that would make for a nice sandwich buffet after church on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I’ve tried keeping these super low-fat by popping foil-wrapped sandwiches into the oven to melt the cheese,  but grilling produces a much tastier result and can be done with a minimal amount of softened butter or margarine.  The menu, then, for a casual family meal:  Turkey, Bacon, and Avocado Melts (I); Grilled Turkey with Mango Chutney (II); and Grilled Turkey with Fresh Cranberry Sauce (III).  The perfect side dishes – made with leftovers of course:  Polenta Fries, Three Bean Salad, and Squash Spice Bars.   (more…)

March 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

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